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turkeytits

Ingredients:
• 1 frozen young turkey (14-16 lbs.)
• 1 large lemon, cut into halves
• Canola oil

For the brine:
• 1 cup kosher salt
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• 1 gallon vegetable stock
• 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
• ½ tablespoon whole allspice
• ½ tablespoon candied ginger

For the aromatics:
• 1 red apple, sliced
• ½ onion, sliced
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 cup water
• 4 sprigs rosemary
• 6 leaves sage

Cooking instructions:
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500°F. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Use a knife to gently separate the skin from the breast meat. Slide the lemon halves under the skin, with the peel side up, one on each side. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500°F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil. Insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350°F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161°F. A 14-16lb bird should require a total of 2-2½ hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

* Thanks to Alton Brown (my hero) for the original Good Eats turkey recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!

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